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Deathly Hallows / OOTP Movie Discussion 1147

Posted by Zonk
from the nice-broom dept.
At midnight on Friday Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released, ending the ten year run of J.K. Rowling's extremely popular book series. I imagine that there are a few folks here who have already read the book and want to talk about it. Likewise, the movie version of Order of the Phoenix was recently released (a film I was kind of underwhelmed by). So ... what did you think of them? Be forewarned: I imagine the comments will be filled with spoilers.
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Deathly Hallows / OOTP Movie Discussion

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 22, 2007 @05:50PM (#19948803)
    Milk left at room temperature goes bad on page 298.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jollyreaper (513215)

      Milk left at room temperature goes bad on page 298.
      That's fucking HUGE you insensitive clod. Nobody realizes that Volders drinks that milk after having a delicious cookie and later comes down with food poisoning, giving him a dangerous case of the shits while in a wizarding duel with Potter.
  • by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @05:53PM (#19948835) Journal
    I thought it was nice that something, even if it was something that I thought was junk, could get kids reading for five minutes.

    Now, if only we could find a way to make them read books like 1984, Brave New World, Catch 22 and Fahrenheit 451...
    • by uber-human (842562) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @05:57PM (#19948873)
      It's called school.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Yvan256 (722131)

      Now, if only we could find a way to make them read books like 1984, Brave New World, Catch 22 and Fahrenheit 451...
      In order to conform with the ideas of the book Fahrenheit 451, all copies have been burned.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sampson7 (536545)
      This I do not understand: why is it any less important that kids read Harry Potter as read Catch 22 or 1984? Why is any one of them better than Harry Potter? Because a bunch of professionals have all stepped up and proclaimed 1984, et al., classics?

      Harry Potter is just as good as any of those. I would say it's actually better, but I can see where reasonable minds might disagree. But the point is you are trying to compare Beethoven to Bach. Is one better? Sure, the books you mentioned certainly use
  • by yroJJory (559141) <me@nOsPAm.jory.org> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @05:55PM (#19948853) Homepage
    ...as it barely mentioned the Order of the Phoenix.

    The latest film has the same problem as all the other Harry Potter films:

    They focus only on the epic tale of Harry versus Voldemort and not on the far more epic story of Harry's emotional journey to be ABLE to face (and presumably) defeat Voldemort.

    If you see the film with someone who has never read the books, they tend not to care one iota bout any of it and the reason is all to clear: the characters never develop. They never change. They never become who they need to be in order to confront the horrible evil that is taking over their world.

    The books are amazing because, while there is an epic story of good versus evil, the reader is brought along for the ride to grow alongside the main character. But the movies watch the action from a safe distance and only really focus on the parts that have action.

  • Luckily... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ResidntGeek (772730) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @05:56PM (#19948857) Journal
    Deathly Hallows fortunately played down the anti-intellectualism of the previous books. Harry admitted he should be able to heal wounds by magic (but still didn't admit any fault of his own for not knowing), Hermione's wide knowledge proved very useful on their little trek, and even Ron decided he should look cool in front of the kids at Hogwarts by spouting off a random fact he'd heard from Hermione. That was good, I liked that.
  • My opinion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yath (6378) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @05:57PM (#19948875) Journal
    I think spelling the title of the book correctly shouldn't be too much to ask.
  • by apodyopsis (1048476) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @05:58PM (#19948883)
    I know this might prove controversial, but I have always compared Potter to Rings.

    In the way they are both multi-volume, long, rambling engaging fantasy stories which good stuff to read, but in a terrible writing style

    Don't get me wrong, I *am* a fan and have all of them - but neither are great well written works of prose.

    Whats the betting she'll revisit the muggle/wizarding world in a couple of years? There is waaay too much money available not to in my humble opinion, its just too tempting a cash cow now.
    • by Alaren (682568) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @06:14PM (#19949053)

      ...comparing the two is pretty insulting to Professor Tolkien. It's true that they are both fantasy, both popular, and both compelling in their way (I happen to have enjoyed both series despite their flaws), but the similarities end there.

      J.R.R. Tolkien more or less invented high fantasy as we know it, bringing the folk tales and fables of Europe into the realm of literature. The breadth and depth of the world he created to this day exceeds just about everything else out there. Whether you love the depth or find it boring, you cannot deny that the work Tolkien put into Middle Earth eclipses Rowling's middle-grade novels.

      It would be silly to make a blanket statement that one is "better" then the other; tastes differ, and as you pointed out, neither are exactly stylistic masterpieces. But Tolkien's work was groundbreaking, in many ways the first of its kind. Rowling caught the wave of popular opinion and surfed it to fame and riches; her books do not represent anything out of the ordinary for the genre (fantasy) or the audience (middle-grade). They're entertaining works, but they only live in the house that Tolkien (and some of his contemporaries) built.

      • by syousef (465911) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @09:55PM (#19950957) Journal
        J.R.R. Tolkien more or less invented high fantasy as we know it

        I understand that you like Tolkien but I suggest you take a look at literary history before you make such a claim.

        Epic fantasy/mythology - take a look at the ancient greeks for early work. Ever heard of Homer's Odyssey?
        C.S. Lewis also often gets compared to Tolkien though I'd call his books lighter reading and the Christian metaphors are a little bit annoying.

        Invented languages? Here's a list
        http://www.lib.umt.edu/guide/lang/artifph.htm [umt.edu]

        By the way I love neither the Harry Potter books nor Lord of the Rings nor Homer's works. All eventually put me to sleep with the rich detail. (I don't enjoy multi-page descriptions of things I'm afraid).
      • by westlake (615356) on Monday July 23, 2007 @12:21AM (#19952083)
        Rowling caught the wave of popular opinion and surfed it to fame and riches; her books do not represent anything out of the ordinary for the genre (fantasy) or the audience (middle-grade). They're entertaining works, but they only live in the house that Tolkien (and some of his contemporaries) built.

        The female is all but non-existent in Tolkien's world.

        There is a kind of abhorrence that a woman might be compelled to directly engage the evil which surrounds her.

        Tolkien ideal is the structured pre-industrial - pre-war - society of rural England.

        Rowling's world is as ramshackle, crowded and intensely vital as Dicken's London - or more properly the England that would emerge from the Blitz.

  • by dbolger (161340) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @05:59PM (#19948893) Homepage
    First off, I'm just going to assume everybody who clicks into this thread has read the book, because otherwise half the thread is going to require spoiler warnings.

    Rowling's style of writing is definitely not where her strenghts lie, and everybody I know who has refused to read Harry Potter has used this as a reason. However, I think people who say this are cutting off their nose to spite their face. What she lacks in writing skill, she more than makes up for in enjoyable, well crafted characters, and amazing plot. Deathly Hallows is by far my favourite of the series (7, 5, 4, 6, 2, 1 - fot those who are interested).

    I was pretty sure that Snape was on the side of good before I started reading, but by the time he was made Headmaster, I had actually figured that I had been mistaken, and was wondering how she was going to have a decent ending with him as a bad guy. The last few chapters were magnificently brought together, with payoff after payoff after payoff.

    The only disappointment in terms of plot, I felt, was that not a single Slytherin stayed behind after the evacuation of the school. I know, they are supposed to be cunning and self serving, but Harry was almost put into their house. Surely there must be a handful of Slytherins who, like him, are borderline and would have enough bravery to stand beside their schoolmates against the deatheaters.

    However, that aside, I am very happy with the book, and am glad to see I didn't waste my time on a series just to have it thrown in my face at the end (*cough* Dark Tower *cough* Wheel of time).
    • by TheoMurpse (729043) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @09:50PM (#19950905) Homepage

      (7, 5, 4, 6, 2, 1 - fot those who are interested)
      So...did you really hate #3 or what?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by moosesocks (264553)
      Agreed. The book was an absolute roller-coaster, and I was amazed by how well she tied up the loose ends in the plot at the end.

      It wasn't like The Return of the King (movie), where plot ends were quickly, but sequentially tied up one by one, and it wasn't like many other books that drag out the ending far far too long, as to ruin the effect of the climax.

      As for Rowling's writing style, I will continue to compare it to Kurt Vonnegut, whose books were some of the more straightforward and easily-digestible pi
    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:32PM (#19951307)

      The only disappointment in terms of plot, I felt, was that not a single Slytherin stayed behind after the evacuation of the school. I know, they are supposed to be cunning and self serving, but Harry was almost put into their house. Surely there must be a handful of Slytherins who, like him, are borderline and would have enough bravery to stand beside their schoolmates against the deatheaters.
      Let's compare the wizards to the Jedi. Now in both universes you have good guys and nasty nasties. The Jedi approach is to make a blanket condemnation against anything that even smells slightly evil, in fact condemning things that could become evil if taken too far. So no families, no sex, no joy. Divorce yourself from emotions and their entanglements lest you turn to the dark side. In other words, the Jedi are pretty hardcore about avoiding evil.

      In the Potterverse, on the other hand, you not only have an acceptance of dark magic in the world, there is even a house of evil inside the school. Now the way things are portrayed, there isn't a case of good sylthers and bad ones, you don't really see that for the other houses, either. Pretty much every slther is a baddie and you don't hear of anyone from the other houses going bad. So the question is, why the hell are these people tolerated? There are even black magic shops in the shopping district. Not illicit underground dens that are in constant threat from the law but places of business that are allowed if looked down upon, like a regular porn shop. Huh? Black magic isn't the sort of thing that prudes look down upon that can be used for good or evil like alcohol, firearms, or porn. In fact, let's stick with the firearms angle. Bad guys carry guns but so do cops. They're dangerous, dangerous technology but the gun itself is not good or evil, only the person using it. But black magic is inherently evil and corrupting and the tools used in working it tend to involve dastardly sacrifices. In this universe, there is no demonstrated use for black magic that is benign or useful. It isn't like white magic is used for healing and construction and black magic is used by good AND evil people for defense, a tool that can be used or abused.

      So, given that premise, why is black magic so tolerated?
  • by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @06:03PM (#19948929) Homepage
    To steal from Joel McHale, who would have thought Hermione was a dude? I certainly didn't see it coming!
  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @06:04PM (#19948933) Homepage
    I enjoyed OOTP. The book is overly long and probably the weakest of the series, but what I find most interesting in the films is watching Daniel Radcliffe et al growing into their roles. OOTP is an incredibly long book and, like all the movies, it's like reading the book in fast forward. The book's better than the film, but it was still very very good.

    I finished Deathly Hallows this morning after spending all of yesterday ploughing through it.

    And I really, really loved it.

    JK Rowling has been very clever with the books and I don't know if the entire series has been foreshadowed, but throughout the final book she drops little hints that I, if I had actually been paying very close attention to, would have figured out before the climax.

    You can scoff all you want that it's a kids book and you'd rather die than read it and if this is the case, then I pity you. I felt exactly the same way until I tried them, and it's very rare that a book can make me laugh while I'm reading it.

    Now that it's all over I feel very sad that there might never be another author in my lifetime who can create characters that fit together so well.
  • by wanax (46819) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @06:07PM (#19948977)
    Maybe it's that I read waaaay too much speculation about it, all with interesting theories on how Harry would defeat Voldemort without having to introduce trick wands.... but I just felt that she took the easiest possible route out of the story, giving characters dramatic about-faces when necessary. I mean... Kreacher suddenly becoming Harry's biggest fan? Cop out. Percy's sudden change of allegiance, apology and starting to joke? Excuse me?

    I also felt that she let Dumbledore off the hook, and his character would have been much more compelling if he had killed his sister (or something similar)... or maybe, just maybe, we didn't have to have Dumbledore re-appear and explain everything? I mean come on. Add to that most of the deaths just didn't make sense. Except for Mad-Eye (and possibly Dobby), basically all the other major deaths were random, they had no purpose in the story and didn't advance the plot in any major way. The only sacrificial death was Harry, and he didn't even die (and don't get me started on the overly sappy epilogue).

    Generally, I think the book was missing most of JKR's trademark wit, that made the rest of the story so enjoyable... and had too much of her maddening 'hand of god' habit of introducing new magical concepts to get the characters out of sticky situations instead of them having to figure a way out themselves.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zoney_ie (740061)
      In the book - it isn't settled that Dumbledore *didn't* kill his sister. Harry didn't like to ask in case Dumbledore now knew for certain that he had been the one who killed her during the fight.

      You might be right about some of the deaths being quick and sudden or random - but that was the point - they served the purpose that you did not know who would be next. I did not know for sure that Harry (or Ron or Hermione) would survive till the end of the book.

      Maybe some folks would liked it all to have ended bad
    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:39PM (#19951343)

      just didn't make sense. Except for Mad-Eye (and possibly Dobby), basically all the other major deaths were random, they had no purpose in the story and didn't advance the plot in any major way.
      That is actually a very realistic bit of storytelling that is usually avoided by most authors because they would see it as waste or bad drama. Imagine if Emperor Palpatine choked on an olive in his martini a few days before Endor. Could you imagine the Rebels arriving and the Imperials all like "Um, sorry guys, I know you were looking for a fight but the Big Guy's gone and we're scratching our heads trying to figure out what to do." But that is a realistic possibility. Imagine Leia leaving for a routine diplomatic trip and her shuttle going down due to a mechanical failure, killing all on board? Luke might only find out about it days later. And when you're talking about a big honking firefight, not everybody gets to do a slow-mo running dive at a hand grenade to save the platoon, share touching words with their bitter rivals, etc. Nope. One minute they're alive, the next their brains are in someone's lap and everybody is yelling WTF over the shellfire.

      Doing a death like this, avoiding the temptation to milk it for drama like a cow on a mechanical milker, that's cliche. Doing the opposite can be quite unexpected.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by megamerican (1073936)
      I feel the exact opposite as you do. Kreacher came to like Harry for numerous reasons. Harry promised and delivered to finish the job that Regulus had instructed him to do. We also learn that Voldemort had left Kreacher to die in the cave and only escaped because Voldemort had been too arrogant to realize Kreacher could escape. Would you show allegiance to the one who left you for dead, or the one who swore to finish the job of your favorite master? I wouldn't have believed it either before reading the book
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hazem (472289)
      Add to that most of the deaths just didn't make sense. Except for Mad-Eye (and possibly Dobby), basically all the other major deaths were random

      Your other points are good. But with this one, a recurring theme in the book is that life is not fair. In her world, often bad people go unpunished and good people die cruelly. I think this is one of the more adult themes of the book that makes the book so appealing.

      For example, there is a high probability that this week someone will die in a fatal car crash here
  • by VidEdit (703021) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @06:08PM (#19948983)
    ...and Hermione manages to push Voldemort out of the Hogwarts airlock and blast him with the main engines...oops, I'm mixing my non sequiturs...

    All in all, the Deathly Hallows was a satisfying read. Rowling did a good job of creating the illusion of a Grand Unifying Theory of the previous books and make it seem like there was a clever thread running through them that sustained until the end. She is very good at writing herself out of the corners she paints herself into.
  • by vertigoCiel (1070374) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @06:23PM (#19949127)
    After reading the final book, my opinion on the series is still the same: they're extremely entertaining, gripping, and emotionally engaging books, but their literary depth leaves something to be desired. Don't get me wrong - I love the series, but I just wish it had some more depth than the usual good vs. evil tale.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheoMurpse (729043)

      but I just wish it had some more depth than the usual good vs. evil tale

      Well, there were definitely shades of gray in the book and series--the revelation of how truly great a man Snape was, the surprising turn of Draco, the loss of Dumbledore as a faultless character, Harry doing a lot of wrong shit through all 7 books, Sirius trying to murder Snape while he was in high school (which is somehow forgiven by most readers--although Orson Scot Card said he could not accept Sirius as a good guy after that revela

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @06:24PM (#19949133) Homepage Journal
    What really spoils the story is that Harry Potter dumps a hot asian girl. I mean come on, give the audience some credit. I can believe in kids whipping up spells, but dumping a hot asian girl, now that is just the realm of fantasy!
  • by tiny69 (34486) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @06:32PM (#19949203) Homepage Journal
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Potter_and_the_ Deathly_Hallows [wikipedia.org]

    Spoilers for those who need them. The link does not pop because Slashdot strips out target=_blank.
  • The three choices (Score:3, Interesting)

    by the_tsi (19767) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @06:33PM (#19949211)
    It seems to me that the climax of the entire series hinged upon three choices that Harry made in this book. They epitomize everything Rowling was trying to convey: that the choices individuals make are ultimately what determines "good"ness or "evil"ness, and they are not concrete extremes that guide actions but rather a result of choices that are made in every aspect of life.

    1. He had to decide to face Voldemort willingly, accept that he is going to die, and understand that he is doing this to save his friends. Courage and selflessness are the keys to defeating the emotions that power Riddle: greed, selfishness, and fear.

    2. He had to decide, after being struck with the Killing Curse, to return. Death is easy. It is the easiest thing every living organism *will* do -- life (and staying alive) is a constant struggle not to die. When in King's Cross talking to Dumbledore, he had the opportunity not to go back; he had the chance to take the easy route. Again, he had to decide to return to save his friends.

    3. When finally facing Riddle, now that both were free of any sort of magic to protect themselves, he had one final choice: To take life to protect his (Avada Kedavra) or to show mercy, compassion, love, even to his gravest enemy. By choosing Expelliramus, even after being explicitly told numerous times NOT to use this particular spell, he truly sets himself apart.
  • by nido (102070) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (65odin)> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @07:08PM (#19949557) Homepage
    I picked up a copy of the first Harry Potter sometime before the first movie was released - I had the idea that I was going to read the book first. Somehow I managed to scan my eyes over all the pages of text. Something about a boy and his broom. The movie had been released on DVD by that point, and I eventually rented it.

    I also picked up a copy of the second book before the movie was released. I was only able to get 50 or so pages into it before I was lost. Didn't bother to rent the movie.

    Tried to read Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring before the movie came out. I was lost in the first chapter.

    I do alright with non-fiction books that I've an interest in, and was reading John Taylor Gatto's [johntaylorgatto.com] A Different Kind of Teacher the summer after I finished teh college, and all my reading troubles suddenly made sense. Mr. Gatto realized over the course of his 30-year teaching career that most of his 7th-graders were incapable of reading beyond the level required for a standardized test. To prove this for his readers, he suggested going to the library and borrowing a copy of the classic, All Quiet on the Western Front, read the first 20 pages, and return for a question on the text.

    I went to the library, checked out the book, and scanned the first 20 pages as best I could. I saw the answer to Mr. Gatto's question, but only because I'd read the question before going to the library. But he did have a follow up question too, and I had no idea whatsoever what was going on in this particular book.

    Gatto says that he found that most his students didn't 'make pictures' to go along with the words comprising book's stories. Not because they can't, but because the way reading is taught in the Feral Government's schools trains children not to make pictures, but to read for the (multiple-choice) test.

    Finally - why I couldn't (and still can't) read fiction. I've been spending these last few years trying to get my mental-picture-maker working, and when I succeed someday, then I'll pick up the Harry Potter books again. Until then, I'm not going to frustrate myself with fiction anymore.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Damn, that sucks... I'm sorry you were so ill-served by the educational system. Good luck as you make your journey of re-connection with that ineffable thing, that spark that can jump from fiction to the reader. I too had kind of a terrible time getting started reading (I had a seriously suckoid first grade teacher; e.g. she told my left-handed friend Doug that he was stupid and wrong and she didn't have time to teach a left-hander how to write... Doug was a smart kid who never really got over that initia
  • A few problems... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gshakhn (776481) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @07:21PM (#19949683)
    While the series is enjoyable overall, there were some major problems that ruined my enjoyment of the books.

    Molly Weasley kills Bellatrix Lestrange.
    One of the most feared duelers on Voldemort's side is killed by Molly Weasley? Sure, she's a member of the OotP, but the only spells she had shown in the previous books were household charms. It shows JK Rowling's opinion of a mother's love. But that is going too far in my opinion. Made me laugh when I read it.

    Snape's patronus is a doe.
    I understand that Snape loved Lily, but why does a doe represent Lily? Sure, James (secret!) animagus form was a stag, but that would imply that Snape cared about James. Lily's patronus was a doe, but why would Snape's be the same? I assume Lily's was a doe to represent James (even though a stag would make more sense), but again, that implies that Snape cared about James.

    Gryffindor's sword in the Sorting Hat.
    I thought that Griphook took it? If he cared so much about it, why wouldn't he protect it in some way?

    The Deathly Hallows.
    JK Rowling introduces some super powerful items in this book that have never been mentioned before.
    The Invisibility Cloak was around since the first book, but it was never noticed that it lasted much longer than normal? I'd assume Hermione would read up on it at least.
    Voldemort made the ring a Horcrux without knowing its abilities? With his quest for power, I'd assume he would have at least heard of the Deathly Hallows.
    The wand? An unbeatable super weapon was introduced in the last book in order to defeat Voldemort since Harry couldn't outduel him. And the concept of a wand changing owners was introduced to make sure that Harry owned it? None of this was ever mentioned before? Come on.

    The Taboo.
    So the Ministry can detect when and where a certain word is said throughout the whole country? Why didn't they use it before to find out when someone used the Unforgivables? Or when someone mentioned Death Eaters? Or plenty of other ways it could have been used.

    Harry not moving when Voldemort cast a Crucio on him?
    I understand not screaming, since the pain can be resisted somewhat. But not even twitching?

    The epilogue.
    If she insisted on doing an epilogue to destroy any future books, couldn't she have at least mentioned what happened to the other characters? The Ministry? Weasely Wizarding Wheezes? It mentioned that Ted Lupin wasn't living with Harry, but where else would he live if not his godfather?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by teslar (706653)
      Some comments on some of your points..

      Snape's patronus is a doe.
      I understand that Snape loved Lily, but why does a doe represent Lily? Sure, James (secret!) animagus form was a stag, but that would imply that Snape cared about James. Lily's patronus was a doe, but why would Snape's be the same? I assume Lily's was a doe to represent James (even though a stag would make more sense), but again, that implies that Snape cared about James.

      Yeah, I thought that was a bit contrived too but at the same time I guess

    • by griffjon (14945) <GriffJon&gmail,com> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @09:55PM (#19950961) Homepage Journal
      also:

      Harry not moving when Voldemort cast a Crucio on him?
      I understand not screaming, since the pain can be resisted somewhat. But not even twitching?


      Obviously, Harry was still semi-transparent and flickering with immunity after having cashed in a +1UP, and didn't feel the pain.
  • by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @07:21PM (#19949687) Homepage Journal
    The Book: I thought it was the best in the series, honestly. The book is so different than the first six though, but I think it's for the better. If Harry had just gone to Hogwarts and then realized in April that he hadn't yet destroyed all the Horcruxes, I would have been very disappointed. The way Rowling wrote the last book, it was very believable how hard their journey was. The trio fought, got bored, got cold, split up, adventured, almost gave up, and persevered. All very believable for a nine month journey if you ask me. And everything was wrapped up nearly perfectly. I loved the Battle of Hogwarts and the final battle, but the epilogue didn't really do "19 Years Later" justice. Obviously Harry and Ginny get together, obviously Ron and Hermione get together. They have kids, the circle completes, blah blah blah. I want to know what Harry did for 19 years? Become Minister of Magic? Become and Auror? Teach Defense Against the Dark Arts for a few years? No answer but we do learn that he has a son named Albus Severus so it's all good, right?

    Anyways, the book was the perfect ending to a series many of us grew up with. I remember the first time my grandpa shows me the book and said "Hey, this is a story about a boy wizard, and they play games on broomsticks!" That was nearly 10 years ago and I remember it so fondly. Harry and me grew up together, and now his story is complete. I'm done with college now, am working in the real world. But how I still wish I was a wizard, going to school at Hogwarts, playing Quidditch, and hanging out with Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

    The Movie: Order of the Phoenix is my second favorite novel in the series, after Deathly Hallows. However, the movie kind of stinks. It's more in line with the last two, thankfully, but I thought the book was so good that maybe I had such high expectations. Umbridge was the star of that book, such evil but clearly not with Voldemort. It was a great concept and I think it worked wonderfully, in the book. In the movie, however, she's just an obstacle in the hero's path and not that interesting of a character. The final scenes at the Ministry were also a let down, and differed a lot from the book. I understand that the movie series now is pretty much on it's own, but it's hard for me not to compare.

    I'd rate the book a 10/10 and the movie a 6/10.

    All in all, thank you J.K. Rowling for a magnificent set of novels, you are a master storyteller.
    • I was disappointed by the epilogue as well. Before I read a page of it, I already knew Harry and Ginny would get married, and I predicted the kids named James and Lily too.

      It might have been nice to see some vignettes--just a paragraph or two touching the courtship, wedding, newlywed argument, landing a job, etc.

      As for the OotP movie adaptation, the only change that bothered me was that Harry handed over the prophecy to Lucius instead of stalling for time ("Yeah right, as if you're not going to kill us any
  • by pbaer (833011) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @09:39PM (#19950819)
    I felt the author did a poor job with the Deathly Hallows and that the book's overall quality was mediocre. First I'll start off with what she did well:
    1. Snape as a hero. I doubt it was that surprising for most people, but her explanations of his motives were very plausible.
    2. Dumbledore's history was intriguing.

    What she did poorly:
    1. Character consistency. Neville goes from almost a squib to holding his own against death eaters, where does this come from? Hermione becomes stupid. Hermione knows that there is a spell that can destroy horcruxes and _Crabbe_ of all people is capable of casting it, yet Hermione doesn't consider it worth learning as it is too "dangerous". Clearly running around without a plan and hoping a special sword drops into her lap is a much more intelligent choice.

    2. Magic System still isn't explained. We have muggles, purebloods, mudbloods, halfbloods, and squibs and yet why certain people can do magic and others can't isn't even hinted at. Honestly the rules of her magic system are so poorly explained and adhocced that it can almost be considered it's own deus ex machina. Anytime someone is in a sticky situation that couldn't previously be solved, just change the rules of magic! See house-elves, wand pseudo sentience, and transfiguration limitations. I don't know about you, but I would like a magic system that is deeper than speak latin + wave wand + made_up_rule_that_conveniently_solves_plot_problem .

    3. The use of house elves as deus ex machina- Oh no Harry Potter is trapped in a dungeon where apparition is impossible. Hah house-elves can teleport where wizards can't, problem solved!

    4. Magical battles are _boring_. Yes boring, if you are good you spam stupefy/expelliarmus, if you are evil you spam Unforgivable Curses although mainly Avada Kedavra. Occasionally someone does something mildly clever but this is the exception even for supposedly intelligent characters! No one does anything clever like "accio testicles", or transmogrifying the ground under them to something dangerous, or even something as simple as using a high-powered lumens to blind. Instead it's cast their faction's spell over and over and over. On top of this there are niggling things such as Avada Kedavra being known as the "Unblockable Curse" yet hitting it in midair with stupefy causes it to "explode into red and green fireworks".

    5. Voldemort's incompetence isn't believable. Okay so she wanted Voldemort's flaw to be his arrogance, but he isn't a moron. He knows Harry will come back to Godric's Hollow and yet lays a pathetic trap. He should have at least made it unapparatable. He doesn't exploit the mind link like he previously did to kill Sirius. He also continues to be outsmarted by a 17 year old with no plan. It is like watching a movie where the superweapon has a giant self-destruct button that the hero pushes and the villian doesn't see it coming!

    6. Cliched- Harry martyrs himself and is brought back to life.

    7. Predictable- Who didn't know that Harry was the last Horcrux or that Snape was a good guy, or that Harry wasn't actually dead?

    8. It had the plot of a bad rpg- Find the magical item that will help you complete your quest. Now destroy the villain's enchantments. Congratulations, kill the final boss. Scroll credits.

    9. Unsatisfying epilogue. Now this could potentially be cleared up in a different book but it would be nice to know what actually happened to everyone. We aren't even told what Harry did afterwards. Did he become an auror, a quidditch player, or did he do something else? All this emphasis on non-human's rights by Hermione and no mention of if wizarding politics changed. Nothing is told about the main characters other than who they reproduced with and how they named their children (also not a surprise). Honestly she may as well have said "And they lived happily ever after.", and it would have conveyed essentially the same information.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rtrifts (61627)
      "5. Voldemort's incompetence isn't believable. Okay so she wanted Voldemort's flaw to be his arrogance, but he isn't a moron. He knows Harry will come back to Godric's Hollow and yet lays a pathetic trap. He should have at least made it unapparatable. He doesn't exploit the mind link like he previously did to kill Sirius. He also continues to be outsmarted by a 17 year old with no plan. It is like watching a movie where the superweapon has a giant self-destruct button that the hero pushes and the villian do
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by masdog (794316)

      1. Character consistency. Neville goes from almost a squib to holding his own against death eaters, where does this come from?

      Well...actually, she is consistent. Going back as far as book 5, you can see Neville becoming a capable wizard in his own right. Harry even comments on this after the fight in the Ministry of Magic.

      5. Voldemort's incompetence isn't believable. Okay so she wanted Voldemort's flaw to be his arrogance, but he isn't a moron. He knows Harry will come back to Godric's Hollow and yet lays a pathetic trap. He should have at least made it unapparatable. He doesn't exploit the mind link like he previously did to kill Sirius. He also continues to be outsmarted by a 17 year old with no plan. It is like watching a movie where the superweapon has a giant self-destruct button that the hero pushes and the villian doesn't see it coming!

      For a pathetic trap, it almost succeeded brilliantly.

    • by MythMoth (73648) on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:09AM (#19953481) Homepage
      I've got my own problems with her writing (in general and specifically), but your reasons don't hold much water in my eyes.

      1. Character consistency. Neville goes from almost a squib to holding his own against death eaters, where does this come from?
      There was a substantial build up to this in the preceding book.

      Hermione becomes stupid. Hermione knows that there is a spell that can destroy horcruxes and _Crabbe_ of all people is capable of casting it, yet Hermione doesn't consider it worth learning as it is too "dangerous".
      Given that it nearly kills all of them, that seems like a fair judgement call. Hermione was always characterized as more cautious after all.

      2. Magic System still isn't explained.
      Don't be so analytical - of course it isn't explained, there can't be a sense of wonder if you know how it's all supposed to work. And do remember that this is a children's book.

      3. The use of house elves as deus ex machina- Oh no Harry Potter is trapped in a dungeon where apparition is impossible. Hah house-elves can teleport where wizards can't, problem solved!
      Given that Hermione repeatedly states that nobody can apparate within the bounds of Hogwarts, yet both Dobby and Kreacher are shown doing exactly this numerous times in the earlier books, I don't think it's unreasonable to throw this "surprise" in.

      4. Magical battles are _boring_.
      I somewhat agree, but I have to point out that...

      ...On top of this there are niggling things such as Avada Kedavra being known as the "Unblockable Curse"
      Is not correct to the best of my recollection. It's "unforgivable", not "unblockable". It's just supposed to be evil and illegal.

      5. Voldemort's incompetence isn't believable.
      He's a super-villain; they're supposed to be unbelievably incompetent. Otherwise a bunch of children/James Bond can't defeat them. But I think you know that.

      6. Cliched- Harry martyrs himself and is brought back to life.
      I don't like this, but for other reasons.

      7. Predictable- Who didn't know that Harry was the last Horcrux or that Snape was a good guy, or that Harry wasn't actually dead?
      Again, fair points, but it's a children's book. It's a book with subtleties, but the basic plot direction has to be accessible to its target audience. See your point 8 as well for this.

      9. Unsatisfying epilogue.
      I rather liked it. It had a nice symmetry with Harry's obsession with his parents; in the end he got to step into their shoes. And it left a lot to the imagination - that's my preference.

      Honestly she may as well have said "And they lived happily ever after.", and it would have conveyed essentially the same information.
      Yes. But maybe that was intentional?

      I think it was an Ok book, and indeed that the rest of the books were Ok. Where people criticise them, they often seem to forget that they were written for children and were phenomenally successful.

      I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for JK because she wrote some very enjoyable books, but more importantly because she wrote enjoyable books that kids would read and see their parents reading. If that isn't a good thing for literature generally, then I don't know what is.

      Oh, and I get really ticked off with the professional literary critics telling us that this isn't "great literature." Maybe, maybe not. But it's never been for the critics to judge that - our descendents will decide that (with a bit of perspective) and the critics rarely have much insight into it.
  • by Trentus (1017602) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @09:50PM (#19950911)
    I have enjoyed reading the books and can't wait to finish the last one, but there are a few things that really bothered me.

    It was all basically centred around Britain. All the wizarding history and what not. Then, in book four, all of a sudden there are other wizarding schools out there. And a few are friendly with Hogwarts. There are suddenly wizards in Egypt and China, and other areas of the world. With a whole world of wizards, why didn't any of the come to aid them in their struggle?

    I know the latest book says Dumbledore didn't get a chance to travel abroad after he left school, but surely a wizard of his stature would have in later years at least communicated with and shared bonds with other great wizards from around the world. Why hadn't he formed friendships with other great wizards? Surely there would be some as skilled as he, or even more so. It just seems that Voldemort was strong enough to be a threat to the entire world. Why didn't Albus send word to other great witches and wizards, telling them he was back, and that they should form a gang to kick the snot out of him?

    Just some of my thoughts after reading the first hundred pages of the last book...

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